Ride Report: Signal Peak

Having never ridden Signal Peak before, I figured I would give it a go with a friend who hadn’t ridden it since his time at Western State University. We decided to begin from where he started the last time he rode the area (about 15 years ago) and parked at the campus.

overlooking western colorado university from signal peak

Because I was going for photos, we opted to ride Ridgeline up instead of the recommended Rasta trail. While Rasta looked like fun and I will probably go up that way next time, I was in it for the views, which did not disappoint. The road up was a fairly easy and consistent grade to the biggest cell tower, and after that the uphills became a little shorter and steeper with a nice break between. We passed the exit of Rasta, which wasn’t posted by name, but we recognized from the map, and while I’m sure it’s a fun singletrack, I wasn’t disappointed to have taken the road up. Out on the left above Rasta was a newly built trail winding its way down to Cranor Hill. It looked like a heck of a lot of work went into it based on the huge cairn that acted as the entrance to the smooth trail down.

cairn on signal peak gunnison colorado

Seeing that Signal Peak itself didn’t look any closer than when we started (I swear it kept moving!), we decided it was time for some downhill action. So after a bit more road climbing, we found ourselves at the entrance to Chicken Wing. There was signage for Chicken Wing and the trail was flowy and fast with very little technical spots – a perfect reward for climbing up! There was a gate that was easy to open and close behind us, and as the gate suggested, there were quite a few curious cows watching us ride.

chicken wing trail signal peak gunnison colorado

By the time we got to the bottom, we were left wanting more downhill. We considered riding up Rasta and back down again, but ended up not having time with our schedules. We took a turn from the road and jumped onto an unmarked trail, which we learned was Contour after looking at the map. We passed the entrance to Rasta, which looked like a nice meandering uphill trail through the drainage back up to the top, and followed Contour back to the parking lot.

top of chicken wing trail signal peak

We were ultimately happy with, and tired, after our ride but were left wanting more than what time allowed us to ride. I definitely recommend downloading the CBGTrails map app for the area before riding as many of the trails aren’t posted by name and trail signage hasn’t been installed yet. It was a nice change of pace from Hartman Rocks and I really enjoyed seeing a new view of the valley. Maybe I’ll even make it to the top of the elusive Signal Peak one day!

expansive views in signal peak mountain biking